About Us

Bute Forest is owned by Bute Community Land Company, a locally controlled and managed charitable organisation with over 450 members.

To become a full member with voting rights you must be on the electoral register on the Isle of Bute. Download a Membership Application Form

You can also become a Junior Member (ages 14- 17) or an Associate Member  (if you are not on the electoral register on the Isle of Bute).

Our History

In 2009, 93% of 2739 people (52% of the eligible population) voted in favour of purchasing the forest at the north end of the island and created a record for the largest community-vote! They felt strongly that the forest should be managed environmentally, with clear felling avoided if possible, new jobs created and better recreational facilities developed for local people and to attract new visitors to the island. Bute Forest is the largest community buy-out of privately owned land in Scotland. 

The vision of Bute Community Land Company is for an island:

  • which is widely regarded as the best Scottish island in which to live, to work and to visit
  • with a strong, stable and prosperous community
  • which has access to excellent facilities and great communications with the mainland
  • which retains its special sense of beauty and remoteness

Bute Community Land Company created a subsidiary, Bute Forest Ltd, to manage the forest in 2010.

Bute Forest currently employs two people and works with over 100 volunteers.

Emma Cooper – former Forest Manager & Executive Officer (post ended in December 2013)

Emma was responsible for achieving the objectives outlined in the Master Plan as well as the day-to-day running of Bute Forest. Emma organised volunteers, oversaw the timber products business, and was responsible for financial management, fundraising, reporting and development.

Emma was the Director of Adventure Unlimited in Brighton before making the brave move to Bute in December 2011. Emma is experienced in managing large complex projects and organisations, strategic management, social enterprise and community development work. She is pictured above making a wish on our magic tree, Bruce the Spruce!

Ben Robinson – Forester

Ben is responsible for the practical management of Bute Forest. He is undertaking the first thinning of the forest and producing timber products for sale locally. Ben is also responsible for organising volunteers to help with the business, developing the work site and facilities and finalising the forest plan. Ben graduated from Bangor University in Forestry.

Paul Scott – Forester

Paul started volunteering with Bute Forest 18 months ago and jumped at the opportunity to be employed by us in July of 2013. Paul is helping Ben with the timber business and concentrating on felling the spruce. Paul lives on Bute with his wife and two children.